The Philadelphia Flyers (and rookie general manager Daniel Brière) made their first big splash of the offseason earlier this week. Naturally, though, after acquiring a fourth goalie with decent NHL experience in Calvin Petersen, questions began to resurface about the future of budding star netminder Carter Hart with the team.
Within minutes of Tuesday’s trade being reported, reports from various insiders surfaced the Flyers were at least engaged in discussions with teams about moving Hart, although it wasn’t something as imminent as the Ivan Provorov deal, which was officially announced hours later. Today, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on The Jeff Marek Show that progress toward a Hart trade hasn’t advanced, saying a source told him to “dial back on the [rumors]” and that moving Hart wasn’t Philadelphia’s current top priority.
The Fourth Period today seemed a little more optimistic about the eventuality of a Hart deal, but again noted nothing was imminent on that front. However, they did specifically name the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens as teams believed to have interest in acquiring the 24-year-old.
Both teams got strong goaltending performances this season from Ilya Samsonov and Sam Montembeault, respectively, but neither of them is regarded as the sure-fire long-term starter Hart is. While a poor bubble season in 2020-21 drags Hart’s career numbers down considerably, he’s been admirable in a tough position for Philadelphia in other seasons and sat among the top of the league in multiple stats during the first few months of 2022-23.
The Fourth Period also mentioned in today’s report that the lines of communication aren’t quite closed between the Flyers and Columbus Blue Jackets, especially regarding a long-time rumored deal involving Kevin Hayes. They noted the Provorov trade was of higher priority to both clubs, but the two parties are now “set to reengage” after completing the three-team deal.
The main negotiating factor in a Hayes trade is reportedly salary retention, suggesting a return package from Columbus might already be ironed out. Hayes, 31, finished second in scoring among Flyers players with 54 points in 81 games this season and provides a much-needed upgrade at center for Columbus, although his roughly $7.1MM cap hit is a tad rich for his skillset and career arc.